Giving an idea of the tough times ahead for international energy majors ahead this year, PetroChina yesterday revealed a net loss for the first quarter of RMB16.23bn ($2.29bn) versus a profit of RMB10.249bn a year earlier. Revenue fell 14.4% to RMB509bn. The state-owned giant said a cost cutting programme has been put in place without revealing specific details.
Today Royal Dutch Shell – the latest of keenly watched quarterlies from big oil firms during the crude pricing crisis – cut its dividend for the first time since the end of the Second World War.
Shell’s profits for the first quarter tumbled to $2.9bn, down 46% from $5.3bn in the same quarter last year.
CEO Ben van Beurden commented: “Given the continued deterioration in the macroeconomic outlook and the significant mid and long-term uncertainty, we are taking further prudent steps to bolster our resilience, underpin the strength of our balance sheet and support the long-term value creation of Shell.”
During BP’s Q1 results earlier this week the oil major said it will slash its group capital expenditure program by 25% to $12bn for the year.
Exxon Mobil issues its Q1 report tomorrow amid the historic plunge in crude demand and prices.